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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Midnight Train from SHANGHAI-NANJING China and yes, the train officer screamed at us!

"The customer is always right" , drop that notion if you are in China. Don't expect customer service here to be the mantra especially in government owned companies like China Railways. Our experience during our midnight trip from Shanghai to Nanjing reinforced this notion when the one in charged of the couch we were at screamed at us because we almost missed our station.

More on that later.^^
Shanghai Railway Station

There are four (4) Train Stations in Shanghai ---Shanghai South, Shanghai West, Shanghai Hongqiao, and Shanghai Railway Station. 

All of these stations have trips to Nanjing so you have to consider a few factors when choosing the station.

1. Where are originally located in Shanghai. (Bund or New Pudong District?  Shanghai Station) 
2. What time of the you are leaving Shanghai (midnight --Shanghai Station) 
3. What kind of train you want to take ( High Speed? -- Shanghai Hongqiao)

If you are leaving Shanghai during daytime, there are many high speed trains in Shanghai Hongqiao and travel time is only around 1 hour 40 minutes.


+ Access via Shanghai Metro Subway

So we were coming from Lujiazui area plus it was already 9pm when we left the subway station there so we were directed to Shanghai Railway Station due to its proximity as well as available night trips. The last trip going to Nanjing is at 11:48 pm. It is not a high speed train so it arrives in Nanjing at around 3:30am.

K8378/K8375 Shanghai
23:06 Nanjing
03:03 3h57m 301 47/74 86/89/92 /
K8432 Shanghai
23:21 Nanjing
03:11 3h50m 301 47/74 86/89/92 /
T7606/T7607 Shanghai
23:30 Nanjing
02:58 3h28m 301 47/- 86/89/92 130/135
K8366/K8367 Shanghai
23:42 Nanjing
03:23 3h41m 301 47/- 86/89/92 /
K8482/K8483 Shanghai
23:48 Nanjing
03:38 3h50m 301 47/74 86/89/92 130/135

See Complete Timetable and Price list >>>here

You have to line up and show your passport. If you do not have a list of the schedule (which you can find online) , just tell the teller of your preferred time and type of train. In our case, the slowest train with the cheapest price. 71.50 RMB for a 3.5-hour ride in economy class. There's no need to hurry. We arrived in Nanjing Station at around 3am.

PS: If you are buying over the counter, look for windows with ENGLISH TRANSLATION posted on them. That means the teller can speak in English and could easily assist you. Be quick though, tellers are usually hot tempered and short on patience. ^^


Located in the front section of the train, the economy class is comfortable enough. We were seated in two facing two other passengers and a table in between. It was here where I started doing my homework of reading my printouts for our destination ---Nanjing Railway Station--- and started inscribing important information for the Shanghai leg of the trip. At the same time, my camera was also on the table. When a male security officer passed by to check on passengers and saw my camera, he pointed at it and started speaking in Mandarin as if he is mad at the sight of it. I said my apologies and put it back in my back. That was the first time I was scolded in the train. The one I cannot forget was when we arrived at Nanjing Train Station.
I don't normally sleep when traveling especially if it involves short journeys and four hours is short for me. I was awake for two hours during the train ride but got bored afterwards so I dosed off.

I was deep in my sleep when my wife woke me up. I immediately looked out the window and ai noticed that the train was at a stop at a station. I was about to go back to sleep when my wife called my attention again. Two college girls were next to us and in Mandarin asked something. I understood that they were curious if we were seated in the right spots. I was confident we were so I showed them our tickets tucked in our passports. They look at it carefully, laughed at each other and they were gone. A few minutes later, a female train officer approached us. In high pitch voice and scary animated face, she started screaming in Chinese. All other passengers were already looking at us. We were shocked and were not able to respond quickly. I was able to gather myself and said "sorry?".

She then shifted to English and she was quite proficient. "Show me your tickets!" She whipped. I hurriedly handed them to her. She then immediately screamed at us again in Chinese. Then in English she said " this is Nanjing! Get out!". Not yet contented, she added, " get you things and be quick". I grabbed my shoes which Inremoved during the trip and our bags and ran towards the exit door. I was just wearing socks and was carrying my shoes when we got out of the station which was already out of people at that time while a police officer was looking. Two Southeast Asian looking adults who seemed lost. I was still in shock. I know that was stupid for us to miss our station but I was overwhelmed at the reaction of the train officer. I was nervous as well because I thought we will be punished or something.
And so goes the memorable experience. Customer service 101 in China charged to experience. I can laugh at it now but that explains why I mentioned early on in thia post that one should drop the notion that customers are to be accorded tender loving care. Not in China. Haha!

We flew in Shanghai via
AirAsia Zest which flies daily to Pudong International Airport.
Be sure not to miss on their promo fares

You can also download AirAsia's Mobile App
Play Store link >>>here
and Itunes link >>>here

This ends my Series on Shanghai. Nanjing posts coming up!!!  ^^


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